A nature reserve where you can simply step into the water and see a fantastic variety of fish - in water that's waist deep, or shallower. There aren't many places in the world where you can see so much, so close to the beach.Great for kids. All visitors must watch an orientation film (about ten mins) before being allowed in the reserve, so go early to avoid long lines. Worth the wait though - a truly beautiful place.
A drive around the island is a must, watch the surfers on the north shore.
Highly second, snorkling at Hanauma Bay (it's been a long time since we've been there.....years ago we used to get up early....like about 6am...while our internal clocks were still set diferently than Hawaii time....we'd go before they had officially opened the gates each morning and spend a couple hours at the beach by ourselves....when the crowds would arrive each morning a couple hours later...we were on our way out.....I'll never forget how much fun we had...can imagine how crowded it must get....but it's a do not miss activity!)
Also a trip to Pearl Harbor, the visitor center and trip out to the monument - very inspiring!
We like to go to Kolina...they have some beautiful little bays.....we used to like the one closest to the main hotel. There is hardly any parking but we were always VERY early risers and would be one of the first cars to get a spot. They had some pretty grassy areas under the palm trees and pretty walk ways.
We used to stay at Bellows Air Station up the coast from Hanauma Bay.....you can't get onto the gated air station but there used to be a wonderful picnic/beach area before you get to the gated part.....for many years Bellows was my families favorite vacation spot - actually I think if we took a survey...it probably still is!
A walk around the downtown area.....just to visit the open air market under the big banyan tree (hope it's still there).....to really buy your stuff to take home for everyone visit the flea market at the coliseum....used to operate on like Wed and Sat.
Gosh.....I have got to plan a trip back one of these days.....just thinking about these places...brings back some great memories......
We spent a week on Maui and a week on Oahu last summer with our daughters who were 11 and 5 at the time. Some of their favourite activities on Oahu included playing on Waikiki beach, the Polynesian Cultural Centre and the Atlantis Submarine.
Going to Oahu & Big Island next month. Tips on this site are great, but additional tips are appreciated.
We plan to stay close to the resort (Hiltons) on Oahu and have public transportation, and will have a rental car for Big Island.
Oldest just finished college, and this may be our last summer trip, so I went for the resort trip instead of the quirky hotels I normally prefer (this kid is a/k/a 5-star, after he complained about the turn down service at Amelia Island when he was about 7).
We also take the free trolley to Hilo Hatties to do some shopping. We love the macadamia nut pancakes served at many of the local eateries and the coconut syrup always comes home with us. We enjoy walking along the tiki torch lit streets in Waikiki and people watching.